Avocados are creamy, buttery fruits that grow in warm climates and enjoyed in various cuisines around the world. It is shaped like a pear with a green rough skin. The yellow green flesh inside is eaten and the seed and skin disposed off. They are naturally nutrient dense and contain close to 20 vitamins and minerals. The avocado is a unique type of fruit. While most fruits consist of carbohydrates, avocados are high in monounsaturated healthy fats. Numerous studies have shown that it has plenty of health benefits. Here are the top health benefits of avocado supported by scientific research.
Good for Heart
Heart disease has been ranked as the most common cause of death in the world right now. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats that boost the health of your heart and lower blood pressure. The monounsaturated fats contain a phytonutrient known as beta-sitosterol. It has been shown to lower blood triglycerides, reduce LDL ‘bad cholesterol” and increase levels of HDL “good cholesterol”. Vitamin B6 and folate which are in high amount help regulate the level of homocysteine in the body which if high, predisposes one to heart disease. Avocados are also natural sources of Vitamin E and amino acid, glutathione. They are antioxidants which prevent cholesterol oxidation.They also have very high levels of potassium. Study has shown that high potassium intake is linked to reduced blood pressure, a major contributory factor to heart disease.
Most folks would find it surprising that a fruit rich in fat would be considered for weight loss. Well, the fact is that monounsaturated fats( oleic acid) are likely to be used by the body as slow burning energy rather than stored as fat reserves. Oleic acid activates the part of your brain responsible for making you feel full. The feeling of being full that comes after eating an avocado and slow burning energy reduce hunger and or appetite.The best part about this is that you don’t have to go hungry in order to lose weight.
Inflammation is the basis of most non-contagious disease. Avocados contain polyphenols, phytosterols, and flavonoids especially useful in fighting joint inflammation. Osteoarthritis or joint inflammation is a painful disease of the joints affecting many people worldwide. Avocados greatly reduce arthritic pain when eaten regularly by people suffering from osteoarthritis. It has also shown potential in treating rheumatoid arthritis.
Oleic acid abundant in avocados improves skin tone. It maintains just the right amount of moisture in the epidermal layer of the skin making it soft and supple. Omega-9 fats can also reduce skin irritation and replace dead skin cells. Avocado has carotenoids which help hide wrinkles and other visible signs of aging. Vitamin C increases production of elastin and collagen which maintain your skin’s natural elasticity.
Pregnancy and preventing birth defects
Folic acid is recommended for pregnant women to help the fetus develop and prevent birth defects such as neural tube defects. Synthetically extracted folic acid is however considered not that good compare to natural folate to a pregnant woman. Therefore, health experts recommend consuming natural folate which will then be converted to folic acid in the body. Avocados are rich in folate, a form of Vitamin B. Folate also reduce the chances of stroke, this is according to research done on people who take folate rich food.
Apart from these benefits, avocados contain lutein which reduces macular degeneration and development of cataracts in your eye. It also contains phtyochemicals which have been shown to prevent cancers such as breast and prostate. However if you are taking blood thinners such as Warfarin, it is important to know that avocados contain Vitamin K which is involved in blood clotting and this is potentially harmful. All in all avocados are a unique type of fruit loaded with nutrients which are lacking in our modern day diets. Go out and get some avocados! Enjoy them with salt, lemon or vinegar, blend them into a smoothie or just toss them in with a salad. It doesn’t matter how you choose to eat it, the benefits are still numerous!
Do you know any other health benefits of Avocado?